Little League Age
What is your child’s Little League Age? This is a very popular question, and this link will take you to the official Little League Age Calculator so you can get a quick answer. But this is basically how it works:
- SOFTBALL: In softball, for the season in question, your official “League Age” is whatever age you will be on December 31st of the previous year. As an example, for the 2017 season, your League Age would be whatever age you were on December 31st of 2016. So if turned 13 on January 1st, you are still considered league age 12.
- BASEBALL: In baseball, your League Age is the age you will be on August 31st of the given season year. As an example, for the 2017 season, your League Age would be whatever age you were on August 31st, 2017. This means that if you had turned 10 years old on August 30th, you would be considered League Age 10. If, however, you turned 10 years old two days later on September 1st, you would be considered League Age 9, because you were 9 years old when the cutoff date occurred.
It needs to be noted that the League Age Determination Date was recently changed from a previous date in April. As the change would potentially disrupt some children from being able to complete their final year of Little League, children born between May 1 and August 31, 2005 are grandfathered in as 12-year-olds for the 2018 season. From that point forward the August 31st cutoff date will be universal.
This change was made in order to ensure that the Little League Baseball Division, also known as the Major League Division, was truly a 12 and under program – guaranteeing that no child playing in the Majors will turn 13 years old at any point during their final season in that division.
Requirements for playing in the Major Division
There are several major considerations for playing in the Major League Division. First and foremost is safety. We do not want anyone put in a position in which they may get hurt, or hurt someone else. This is why we have evaluations which help us determine the skill and ability of each player. This helps us place players into the appropriate level, and is the process in both baseball and softball.
Additionally, in baseball we do not allow any player who is below League Age 10 to play in the Majors, no matter how talented they are. In softball, we will occasionally allow a League Age 9 player move up to Majors, but this is a rare occurrence.
Finally, we place all League Age 12 players in the Major League Division, unless there is some discussion and agreement with the parents.
Bats, Gloves and Equipment Your Child Will Need
To play Little League, your child will need, at a minimum, a glove and baseball or softball pants. Bats, caps, jerseys and socks are provided by the league. Some players choose to purchase their own bats, batting gloves and sunglasses. None of these items are necessary for success, as players often grow too quickly to make the purchasing of bats worthwhile.
If you do decide to purchase your child his or her own bat, be aware of the regulations that govern bat size. In baseball, the bats may not exceed 33 inches and the barrel of the bat can be no larger than 2 1/4″. Bats may not exceed a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.15. Bats must have at least a “drop” of 8. At bat’s drop is the numerical difference between the length of the bat, and the weight of the bat in ounces. In other words, if you are buying your child a 28 inch bat, the weight of the bat must be 20 ounces or less.
Some composite bats are legal, but before purchasing, check out Littleleague.org for an ever changing list of approved composite bats. It changes frequently.
In softball the bat must be a Little League Approved Softball Bat, no more than 33 inches with 2 1/4″ barrel.
Games at the Little League level are 6 innings, and are typically capped at around two hours. There can be exceptions to this if there is no additional game following the game in progress, and if both coaches agree to complete the scheduled game. On the weekdays a 5:30 game is over by 7:30 or when it gets dark.
It is unusual that games will last longer than two hours, but does occasionally happen.
If you have ever watched the Little League World Series, you have seen All-Stars competing. Local Little Leagues from around the United States — and the world — select All-Star teams that are made up of players from their league, and who will compete in the various tournaments that ultimately lead to the Little League World Series in August, held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Here in Yarmouth, at the conclusion of the Little League regular season and playoffs, we will select a group of All-Stars chosen for the various age groups, which have traditionally been 9-10 year olds, 10-11 year olds and 11-12 year olds. It is the 11-12 year olds that are ultimately seen at the Little League World Series.
It is a fairly big commitment, but also a great honor to be chosen. The Yarmouth All-Star teams will continue to play until they are eliminated. The progression of the All-Star season begins with the District 6 Tournament, then moves to the Maine State Championship, then to the New England Regional, and finally to the Little League World Series.
For more information on All-Stars, the process by which the players are chosen, and more about the tournaments and how Yarmouth has done over the years, visit our baseball All-Stars and softball All-Stars pages.
Playing Lacrosse and Baseball
In the major leagues it is very difficult to do both. Typically teams have 11 players on their roster, so if you miss a game you will really be letting your teammates down. That being said, at the younger ages (minor and farm) it is easier to juggle the two sports, but still not encouraged.
Softball has the same problems as baseball, and often they are dealing with even smaller rosters.
Older Children Who Have Never Played Little League
Absolutely – the calibre of players who play Little League vary dramatically. You may be asked to play in minors (unless you are League age 12) for safety sake. All our coaches are trained in new player development. We strive as an organization to be inclusive and focus on the elements of the sport which really benefit the players in life – team, courage, conditioning, etc.
Minimum Age To Play Little League
In baseball you can register up for Farm League when you enter second grade. First graders play instructional league run through YCS. As a local rule we keep all second graders in Farm League, even if they are Little League 8 and therefore Minor League eligible. As a third grader you are now elgible (if you are league age 8) to play in the minor leagues, but may choose to spend another year in Farm League for development sake.
In softball you can enter Farm League as a first grader, and as a third grader you are elgible for minor leagues if age eligible.
I am a huge Yankees fan, is that going to be a problem?
Yes it is, pack your bags.
Seriously we pride ourselves in being accepting of everyone – but come on, the Yankees – really?
If you have any additional questions feel free to email us, or ask anyone on the board!